Sri Lanka Navy intercepts foreign fishing vessel carrying heroin worth over Rs. 3.1 billion

Sri Lanka Navy intercepts foreign fishing vessel carrying heroin worth over Rs. 3.1 billion

Sat, Sep 4, 2021, 01:44 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Sept 04, Colombo: Sri Lanka Navy has seized a foreign fishing vessel carrying over 336 kg of heroin along with seven crew members in the international waters south of Sri Lanka.

On intelligence information received by the Sri Lanka Police, Sri Lanka Navy Intelligence and the Sri Lanka Navy ships and vessels conducted a special operation to nab the foreign fishing vessel carrying narcotics, Navy Spokesman Capt. Indika de Silva said.

The successful operation led to the seizure of a foreign fishing vessel carrying over 336kg (including the packages) of heroin worth over Rs. 3100 million gross street value.

The drug transferring vessel together with 07 foreign nationals aboard was brought to Colombo harbor this morning (04th September 2021).

A couple of days earlier, Sri Lanka Navy Intelligence and State Intelligence Service carried out a similar operation based on information received from a coordinated intelligence operation. That operation made way to take hold of about 290kg and 200g stock of heroin, attempted to be smuggled into the island by sea and apprehension of 05 suspects and the multi-day fishing vessel being used.

Making use of information divulged from the earlier anti-drug operation as well as more intelligence information received to Sri Lanka Police, the recent operation was set in motion, deploying the Offshore Patrol Vessels SLNS Gajabahu and SLNS Samudura of Sri Lanka Navy, in international waters.

During this operation, SLNS Samudura managed to intercept the suspicious foreign fishing vessel in high seas about 740 nautical miles (about 1370km) south of Sri Lankan shores. The subsequent search of the suspicious vessel led to the recovery about 336Kg 300g (including the packages) of heroin in 301 packages stashed in the vessel.

It is suspected that this foreign fishing vessel carrying the narcotics was supposed to be stationed by smugglers in international waters to get narcotics transferred and fetch them into the country, under the guise of a vessel engaging in multi-day fishing activities.

The identity of the apprehended foreign suspects has not yet been confirmed. Onward investigations and legal proceedings into the incident will be carried out by the Navy and Police Narcotic Bureau.

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